Posts Tagged: Lauren Oliver

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

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Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Rooms
Lauren Oliver
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Publication date: September 23rd 2014
by Ecco

GoodreadsPurchase
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-

I didn’t love this, but it’s a very unique – I’d even say peculiar – story with some candid personalities and buried secrets. And of course, Lauren’s writing makes the storyline so intriguing that it compels you to read even if it’s not blowing your mind. This review will be short, because the whole of this (also short) book is one haunting secret after another being unearthed into a story full of tragedy.

Brought together in this house by the death and upcoming burial of a husband and father, this story encircles the lives of half a dozen people who make up our narrators of this novel. While we learn the ins and outs of what makes these people who they are, we also learn that, ultimately, this is the ghosts’ tale. Even though this involves ghosts and a haunted house, it’s far from being a horror novel. It’s a family drama full of secrets and blame, of death and broken lives. It’s undoubtedly very well written, constructed with many layers and strings that tie everything together.

With so many POVs, though, comes along a difficulty to fully connect with these characters. I very much enjoyed both Alice and Susan – the resident ghosts; their bickering is a lot of fun, and you just know they’ve got a dark secret that’s keeping them there. For some reason, though, I kept confusing their backstories and forgetting which history belonged to which ghost. Maybe it’s my lack of attention, or maybe the voices were not distinct enough; I think it’s a little bit of both. Aside from those two, and maybe Trenton with his suicidal thoughts, I found myself getting bored with the other characters. In turn, I never grew emotionally attached to this story, which does have a lot of heartbreak and sadness meant to hit you right in the heart. As everyone’s lives are painted with a dark brush, crafting them into somber, self-loathing characters, it’s natural to want to keep at arm’s length like I did. And in doing so, I was left wanting more from it, never being completely enthralled until maybe the last 5 chapters or so when the ghosts finally face their demons.

The story that Lauren paints is not joyful and happy, it gets sadder and sadder with every thread that unravels. Until finally, you’re left with a broken heart and a disturbing thought that life, sometimes, just truly sucks. The writing itself is not the issue at all – it’s beautifully written with a poetic sort of feel – I simply did not fall into the emotional depths that this tale was obviously striving for.

“Everything comes up in the end”

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

DNF Round-up [2014: Part 1]

Posted by on 03/07/2014 • 47 Comments

This is our first DNF Round-up of 2014! We both have a couple of 2014 books that we didn’t finish and since we don’t post official reviews, we decided to at least list our reasons why these ended up as DNFs for us.

Jenni

Maybe One Day Melissa Kantor

Goodreads Purchase

Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend’s life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when…

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Posted by on 02/20/2014 • 32 Comments

I’m left feeling torn on this one. On the one hand I though it was an exciting and well written story about desperation, friendship, and wanting to prove yourself. On the other hand, the game Panic’s frail, yet apparently enduring, nature was not very realistic considering the risks, keeping me emotionally detached, and I did find the plot ended up being fairly predictable.

Panic is a game where facing often life-risking fears can win you a small fortune – 50,000$ worth. Absolutely interesting and full of adrenaline, but you do have to suspend disbelief in some areas. Mostly by how poorly managed it seems. For a game that wins you over 50k and involves you playing Russian roulette among other things, who are these people trusting? Kids do stupid things…

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Posted by on 03/12/2013 • 38 Comments

Before I FallLauren Oliver Genre: YA ContemporaryPublication date: October 25th 2011by HarperCollins

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death–and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing

-This novel was listened to via audiobook-  Having heard numerous incredible reviews on this novel, I…

Cover Reveal x 6

Posted by on 07/07/2012 • 21 Comments

Pretty Girl-13 Liz Coley Release date:March 19th 2013  by Katherine Tegen Books  

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scout camping trip.

Now she’s returned home…only to find that it’s three years later and she’s sixteen—or at least that’s what everyone tells her.

What happened to the last three years of her life?

Angie herself doesn’t know.

But there are people who do—people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren’t locked inside her mind.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret…

Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Posted by on 10/25/2011 • 25 Comments

Liesl & PoLauren OliverReleased October 4thby HarperCollins

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist’s apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable

Will’s mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

A truly magical story! Liesl & Po will open your hearts and make you reminisce on your childhood days…